Emotional support animal ownership is on the rise. More people own ESAs in 2018 than at any other time in history, and it’s no mystery why. There are so many advantages to having an emotional support animal in your life. The benefits of ESA ownership in the United States are myriad, ranging from companionship, to improved health and longevity, to reduced stress, to an increased sense of confidence and responsibility. If you have any mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD, you could improve your life immeasurably by becoming an ESA owner. Here are eight of the most life-changing benefits of owning an ESA.
An ESA Can Be Your Best Friend
We all need a best friend. Not having a close companion can bring a person down and reduce their quality of life substantially. A best friend will stick with you through thick and thin, forgive you your mistakes, and be there to support you when you need them most. A loyal emotional support animal such as a dog, pig, or even rat can make an ideal best friend.
ESA Ownership Will Make You Less Self-Obsessed
A lot of mental health problems such as depression, chronic anxiety, and stress often stem from a person being eternally wrapped up in thoughts and worries about themselves. They can’t stop obsessing about their own life situation, appearance, or behavior. The company of an ESA will bring a person out of themselves and force them to consider and engage with a creature other than themselves.
Caring For an ESA Means You Get More Exercise
Physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce depression and anxiety. If you are physically inactive, you are far more vulnerable to sad thoughts. Exercise releases endorphins that make us feel happy and positive. Owning an active emotional support animal, such as a border collie or pot-bellied pig, will mean a person has no choice but to hit the park every single day for a long walk or a vigorous play session. This enforced regular exercise will have life-changing benefits.
Having an ESA is a Great Conversation Starter
Even if your ESA is your best friend, it still ooesn’t hurt to have a few human friends, too. Being out and about with your emotional support dog is a great way to meet more human friends. An ESA dog is a great conversation starter. Two people walking their dogs in a park immediately know that they have something in common, so having a small chat seems much more natural and easy. Having a few new human friends can bring so many benefits to a person’s life.
An ESA Can be the Perfect Sleeping Partner
Many people feel their depression or anxiety most acutely when they are in bed at night or first thing in the morning upon waking. When the rational brain is dozing, mental demons often get free rein to wreak havoc. Many ESA species, such as cats and dogs, make ideal sleeping partners. Having a loving emotional support animal to keep a person company at those tough times can hugely improve their quality of life.
Living With an ESA Means You Always Have Someone To Talk To
Giving voice to your worries and concerns when you are feeling down, anxious, or depressed can be a big help. Emotional support animals make great listeners! They never interrupt, disagree, or seem to get bored. Having an ESA to chat to is an excellent way to alleviate mental pressure.
An ESA Can Be An Ideal Travel Companion
Many people who suffer from anxiety or phobias find traveling quite nerve-wracking. But traveling can be a very rewarding experience. So a hugely life-changing benefit of owning an ESA is that their company calms people down in travel situations and allows them to expand their horizons and see the world.
Owning an ESA Forces You To Take Responsibility
When people fail to take responsibility for themselves and their lives, they tend to become more depressed and anxious. They come to see themselves as the victims of forces they cannot control. They see the world as a frightening and intimidating place that is out to get them. They believe that there is nothing they can do to improve their life. This is a dangerous way to think. Owning an emotional support animal forces a person to start taking responsibility. An ESA cannot care for itself; its owner is directly responsible for its survival. The responsibility that comes with ESA ownership can seep into other areas of a person’s life and hugely transform the way they see the world and their position in it.